Highway Police Commissioner transferred over easy pass sticker scandal

Photo via JS 100 and Facebook/ Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn - วิโรจน์ ลักขณาอดิศร

The Commissioner of the Highway Police was transferred to work for the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) following the easy pass sticker scandal. Highway Police were accused of accepting bribes and granting special passes for overloaded trucks.

The allegations were made by Move Forward Party (MFP) member Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn. He took to Facebook to share evidence suggesting that certain police officers had accepted bribes from truck drivers and companies, allowing them to exceed the legal limits for load capacity. Officers were reportedly distributing stickers to the trucks, enabling them to pass through checkpoints without scrutiny.

In response to the accusations, the Highway Commissioner, Ekkarat Limsangkart, denied any previous instances of police involvement in such matters. He emphasised that bribery was not the root cause, rather, overloaded trucks were the reason for the bribery.

Ekkarat asserted that to effectively address this problem, relevant departments must tackle it considering the larger context.

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Yesterday, the CIB released an official document stating that Ekkarat has been transferred from his position to work at the CIB headquarters. This decision aims to ensure an impartial investigation into the case.

Taking Ekkarat’s place as the new Commissioner of the Highway Police is Jaroonkiat Parnkaew, known for his strong stance against corruption within the public sector as he was a former Commissioner of the Office of Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission.

Ekkarat assured the public that the investigation would be conducted fairly and transparently. He emphasised his commitment to not assisting any officers involved in any form of wrongdoing.

Wiroj also accuses some police officers of accepting bribes from school bus operators and lottery sellers.


ORIGINAL STORY: Easy pass stickers: Police accused of accepting bribes from overloaded trucks

A future Member of Parliament (MP) from the Move Forward Party (MFP), Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn, has accused the Royal Thai Police (RTP) of accepting bribes and ignoring overloaded trucks. Wiroj claimed that these trucks, having allegedly paid bribes, are given special “easy pass stickers” that exempt them from police interference.

Wiroj began posting about the corruption on his Facebook account on May 26th. He shared a photo of a blue sun sticker on a truck with a caption that read…

“I have noticed new easy pass stickers on some trucks and wanted to inform everyone involved to put an end to this practice. Why do many trucks have this sticker? It does not look as cool as other truck decorative stickers. Some informed me that they are the so-called easy pass stickers. My team and I will investigate to uncover how this easy pass system works and who is involved in the payment process.”

Wiroj further revealed that the easy pass stickers come in various designs. Some trucks feature special rabbit stickers, leaf stickers, apple stickers, star stickers, panda stickers, and Thailand’s map stickers. These stickers vary by region and they represent different bribe amounts.

Wiroj claimed that the total amount of bribes could reach 20 billion baht. He said that if truck drivers or their companies desired to carry loads exceeding the legal limits, they would have to pay 3,000 baht per month for the rabbit easy pass, while some would have to pay over 25,000 baht for the very easy pass.

According to the law, four-wheel vehicles must not carry loads over 9.5 tonnes, six-wheel vehicles must not carry loads over 15 tonnes, ten-wheel vehicles must not carry loads over 25 tonnes, and 12-wheel vehicles must not carry loads over 30 tonnes.

Drivers or logistics companies that fail to follow the law will face up to six months in prison, a fine of up to 10,000 baht, or both. Moreover, their vehicles may also be confiscated.

The Spokesperson of the RTP, Archayon Klaithong, informed the media yesterday that the Commissioner of the RTP, Damrongsak Kittiprapat, acknowledged the issue and had already ordered relevant authorities to investigate the case.

The President of the Northeast Trucking Association, Wichai Sawangkajohn, shared his perspective on the corruption issue with the media. Wichai revealed that the use of illegal easy pass stickers and bribery within the logistics industry is an ongoing problem in Thailand.

Wichai explained that the majority of vehicles using these stickers carry loads that exceed the legal weight limits. As competition in freight transport grows, customers are drawn to lower prices. This makes it difficult for those complying with the legal weight limit to compete. Consequently, more people are turning to illegal methods to reduce costs and increase incomes.

The term “Easy Pass” typically refers to the card and device issued by the Expressway Authority of Thailand for the electronic toll collection system used on expressways in the country.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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